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Putrid Pittsburgh in primetime

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks out on the field as quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) and cornerback Darius Rush (21) leave the field against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium. The Patriots won 21-18. . Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Reality hit the Pittsburgh Steelers right in the face Thursday evening as they suffered their second loss to a 2-10 team, losing to the New England Patriots 21-17.

The Steelers made the wrong kind of history last night, becoming the first team to be over .500 and losing back-to-back games to teams at least eight games under .500.

With their Week 14 loss, the Steelers became only the second team in NFL history to lose consecutive home games to teams with 10-plus losses coming into the game (Other: 2010 Miami Dolphins). Before Week 13, the Steelers under Mike Tomlin had been 9-0 in home games versus opponents with 10-plus losses entering the game, but they’re 0-2 in the last two weeks.

The #Steelers average point totals per quarter this season:

Q1: 2.62

Q2: 4.15

Q3: 4.08

Q4: 5.31

You know it’s terrible when a 3-point first quarter against the Patriots pulled that average up.

Patriots points scored in their previous three games combined: 13

Patriots points scored against Pittsburgh: 21

All in the 1st half. The Steelers got pushed around by a historically bad offense—an unacceptable performance.

Even with all of this, the Steelers still had one more opportunity to tie or win the game late in the fourth. The Steelers needed 2 yards on the last two plays to keep the drive going, facing 3&2 and 4&2, respectively. Instead of feeding Najee Harris or Jaylen Warren, the ball was placed in the air both times, including a deep shot to Dione Johnson that had no chance of being caught.

Change must come in significant ways for this organization, and it must come soon. Whether that’s a total revamp of assistant coaches and bringing in outside talent or coming to grips with firing Mike Tomlin, the standard has become the standard in the last few years, which is where most franchises dread the most: mediocrity.

Mitch Trubisky showed us last night why, no matter how badly injured starting quarterback Kenny Pickett looks, he would never be benched. Trubisky turned the ball over on a horrendous interception that led to a short field for the Patriots, leading to a touchdown.

Trubisky was signed with solid money for backup quarterback standards to win these games, and he- along with the rest of the team- didn’t make enough plays and ultimately fell short.

Much of the blame was placed on Matt Canada, and rightfully so, but this is a sign of an organizational-wide issue that, frankly, I don’t know if it will ge fixed. That’s not the Steelers, MO; they are loyal to their guys to a fault, and in the long term, it has hurt them more than they ever imagined.

The Steelers’ most significant issue is they’re stale. Culture is stagnant, and methods of bringing in coordinators are stale. The scheme is stale. No one’s innovating, challenging the status quo, or finding new ways to win. It’s not surprising they’re being left behind when all they do is promote older guys from within.

It’s time for this team and this franchise to look in the mirror and self-reflect. The Steeler way must be updated if the franchise wants to see the success of the glory days. Change must come, and it needs to happen soon.